It’s been a while since we visited the run life. Lace up & join for me a jog…
It’s natural to put one foot in front of the other, to use our muscles to move forward and our minds to release the adrenaline that convinces them to keep going. Some shoes make the act more sustainable, gadgets more entertaining and tech-clothing more comfortable – but we don’t need any of those things to just go for a run. You could go barefoot in the grass, on the beach or – if you’re tougher than most of us – on the pavement. Your body has the resources it needs to start, keep up and cool down – anytime, anywhere!
Had you met me six years ago, you would have found the lines of my comfort zone very neatly etched in a small square. You would find me standing very contently inside of it; you would struggle (though not impossibly) to pull me out.
One half-marathon training cycle and finish line later, you will see the lines begin to fade and shift.
What made you “more” adventurous?
I consider running the ultimate individual sport.
You can run with a team (professional, elite, every-day, etc), a group, and/or led by a coach, but at the end of the workout only YOU are responsible for how it went.
Only your mind-muscle connection will get you from point A to point B.
Only your inner monologue can convince you to do it again, and again, and again.
Only your thought process** can open you up to tackling new challenges.
More often than not, all of these things carry to your world outside of running. You learn you can tolerate fear, (temporary) pain and discomfort because more often than not, the reward of accomplishment is 100% worth it.
During a friend-group vacation last week I went snorkeling in Cozumel… and I didn’t freak (the eff) out. No panic, no fright, no holy-sh*t-get-me-out-of-this-water feeling. Monumental.
Adios, comfort zone.
On the other hand, this ultimate individual sport comes with a community. It’s the best kind of community (in my humble opinion).
**We share thoughts, theories (science?), splits, goals, successes, failures, hobbies, interests, stat obsessions, race wish-lists, tips and tricks, friends, coworkers, significant others and support. We share an affinity for good food, drinks and accessible bathrooms.
We encourage and push each other, we create the almost-always-effective buddy-system, we plan adventures and say “C’MON – DO IT!” for better or worse.
Sometimes, we just hand each other a beer and/or a banana and call it a day.
(Last Saturday marked our Long-Run group’s first Bar-Run/Crawl. Yes we had water, too. Yes we’ll do it again.)
Whatever activity/hobby it is that makes you feel like your best self – the one who’s willing to to step out of that comfort zone, willing to test a limit, and willing to really see what you’re capable of? Grab it. Find people who love it just as much as you do. Let it work some magic, whatever that trick might be!
If there’s anything in these words that strike a note with you, think about why, and let that change you.
“YOUR LIFE DOESN’T GET BETTER BY CHANCE,
IT GETS BETTER BY CHANGE.” — Jim Rohn